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"Bodyguard Wanted", the ad had said. "Chief of Science, Dr. Ayumi Sakata of the Digital Field Club, seeks interested parties to delve with her into a previously undiscovered and uncharted part of Old Terminus. Applicants need to be ready for the unexpected, to be ready for combat, and to be willing to listen to Ms. Sakata monologue at lengths. Meeting is at Miss Babamon's Teahouse in Old Terminus, in 2 days." The "has to be willing to listen" part had been added later, with a very neat and proper handwriting.
As Ayumi and Solomon were sitting in the teahouse of Solomon's grandmother, Ayumi was sulking. "Did you -have- to add the monologue bit to the ad, Solomon???" The Monodramon chuckled emotionlessly. "It is better they know what to expect, than to arrive thinking it will be just battle, and not "Ayumi Gets Super Excited And Exposes Alot." Ayumi squeaked and shoved Solomon, who just chuckled more. His grandmother brought some more tea. "Aye, he's got a point, lassie, but he could've worded it better. At any rate, now we gotta wait, an' see who responds to the ad, anyway." That's true, they had to wait now. How many people would arrive? She couldn't tell, all she could do was wait.
The door would open with a tinkle of a bell, but the small figure that slipped through would hardly garner any notice. Not at least until they began tugging on Ayumi's pants leg. Revealing a tiny Gigimon, one of their posters clutched in her mouth before she spat it at their feet tail wagging like a particularly excited puppy. "Hi! I'm Eris!" She chirped introducing herself with gusto.
"Are you the one who posted the add? I'm a really good listener and very fierce!" Eris exclaimed beaming up at the Digimon and Tamer pair with expectant excitement. Hoping to be selected for the job. She could really use the bits or well...at least the chance to build her reputation as a hero.
"I promise I won't let you down if you take me on!" She declared with a broad grin hopping up one one of the nearby chairs to get a little closer to 'eye' level with the human and Monodramon pair.
One would think that after the last couple of adventure Eleonora would go back to the human world and take a break, but she saw an interesting ad asking for bodyguards, at first she didn't pay much attention but the name Ayumi Sakata ringed so many bells, of course it was the researcher she and the gears met at the Server woods, well the break can wait after all what's one more adventure?
Without a second thought she went to the teahouse, the German girl ask for some directions since even if she's been on the digital world for a while she has not spend that much time in towns or cities nor their partners, but luckily they got to the meeting safe and sound, once inside Eleonora saw her friend? (could be more of an acquaintance) and partner, along side them there was this little digimon introducing herself, it was a little black bean with wings on the head, it kinda remind her about the Nyaromon of the boy she met on th swamp, so it might be on a baby stage.
"Hey! Nice to see you again Ayumi" The blonde greeted "I saw the ad and well, I believe we have all the requirements needed" Leo said as she push a button on her Xros Loader and three digimon materealize from it
Two people strolled in silence together down the streets of Old Terminus. The first was a young man, barely old enough to be considered an adult. He wore jeans, glasses, simple, brown shoes, a black baseball cap, a black sweatshirt, and blue fingerless gloves, concealed by his pockets as he walked. Next to him was a Veemon wearing only a grey ivy cap, his hands awkwardly resting on his legs until he remembered he didn't have pockets to put his hands in. Eventually, the human saw fit to start a conversation. "You know,"
He was immediately interrupted. "You're unsure whether accepting a job requiring combat readiness was a good idea at our level? We are combat-ready, Alan. The ad would have specified if we needed to be a certain amount of tough. Besides, this is Terminus. You'd be hard-pressed to find so much as a champion-level street brawl. There's just not enough room."
Suddenly, Alan didn't feel like starting a conversation anymore, at least until they opened the door to their destination. They had been familiarizing themselves with many of the streets of Old Terminus since their first visit to the digital world.
"Hello, I'm Alan, and this is my partner, Levi. We're here about the bodyguarding job." He gave a cursory glance at the people in the room, making an impressed nod upon seeing the small mechanical army, and uttering a quiet "Oh!" upon seeing the small Gigimon. "Eris? Is that you?" he asked, approaching the bean. "Did we both apply for the same job again?"
In short order, the doorbell to the teahouse went three time. Indeed, three people had replied to the ad, which was three more than Ayumi had expected!
The first one, it seemed was...a very tiny, very adorable Digimon. Ayumi had to suppress the urge to gasp and hug the tiny one. "O-o-o-oh, hello! Nice to meet you, Eris! Thanks for coming! But, don't you think you're a little small fo-" Before she could go on, Solomon put a claw on her arm, his eyes sparkling. "She may be at the In-Training level, but some Digimon assume this form to save energy. I feel we should let her help us out." Ayumi blinked, but nodded. "V-v-very well, welcome on board, Eris!"
The second one was Eleonora. A friendly, familiar face! Ayumi was delighted to see her! And, of course, her face was aflush with a blush. "Oh, Eleonora, hi! Nice to see you! I am glad you came to our exploration, too! I've been wanting to take you along on one for a while now!" Ah, and her army had a new member? The Mamemon X looked a bit anime for her tastes, but she greeted him nonetheless. Solomon bowed to him. "Nice to see you again, Gurren and Langann, a pleasure to meet you, Kamina. I am Solomon."
And the third one was a young man by the name of Alan. Ayumi had never heard of him, but she still greeted him with a friendly smile. "Ah, h-hello Alan, nice to meet you! Thank you for coming! And nice to meet you too, Levi!" Solomon bowed to both.
Once all three people had arrived, Ayumi ordered a round of tea, and spread a map on the table. "Okay, now that you are all here, let me explain the job! This is a crude map of Old Terminus me and Solomon made with his grandmother's aid! We are about...here!" She pointed at a red X on the map. "Now, recently, by doing digital wave analysis of the surrounding area, I discovered a spatial anomaly! At the end of a long and winding corridor leading down into a crystalline cavern about...here." She traced her finger along a dotted line, which took a lot of adventurous turns before ending in a blue X. "...about here I have found a fleck of space that is significantly *older* than the surrounding space! As you may or may not know, space in the Digital Realm carries certain signatures, including its age, which can be read with proper instruments! The anomaly contains data from the year 1986! That's ancient by Digital World standards! I now have the theory that the anomaly is, in fact, a spatial gateway, to a lost realm! I want to ask you to follow me and to explore this realm with me, as it would be terra incognita!" Solomon cleared his throat. "To repeat for anyone who does not speak Ayumi: It appears we have found a gateway to a shard realm within the Digital World. We need your help to keep us safe as we venture in." Ayumi giggled nervously. "Ehehehe, yeah, that's...the gist of it...well, are you all ready for that?"
"Thank you both! I promise I'll do my best to protect you while you proceed with your work!" The little Gigimon chirped brightly practically beaming at the pair specially after Solomon had vouched for her despite her size. She was often turned away because she was considered too young, but she was fierce and eager.
Spying Alan as he entered if it was possible the tiny Digimon lit up even more waving one foreleg at the Tamer and his partner with great enthusiasm. "Alan! It's nice to see you again! Looks like we'll be working together again." She exclaimed smiling happily as she settled in to listen to Ayumi's explanation and Solomon's quick summary.
"So our job is to help you reach this area and protect you during both the journey and the research portion?" Eris murmured nodding her own understanding little ears perked up and alert.
"Ok. We can do it!" She quipped eyes gleaming with determination.
Eleonora smiled when she Ayumi said that was happy to see her and wanting to take her on an adventure, well now that the blonde has a new ally and better suited for fighting this seemed like the perfect moment, she then look at the new adventurer entering the tea house, it was a tamer followed by a V-mon, she gotta admit that this is an interesting party hopefully this adventure doesn't go as crazy as her last one on the server woods
The group pay attention to Ayumi's word and the map, this adventure might take them to another realm that's what at least Leo and Kamina understood, the gears follow her speech properly and were 100% interested in the instruments Ayumi use to analyze the data of the area to discover it.
"Is it really possible to be more realms outside of the digital world?" The German girl asked, after all the digital world was a different realm from the human world. "Or you mean realm as in a different place but still on the digital world boundaries?"
"Doesn't matter!" Kamina interrupted "Adventure is calling and we're answering that call! THE BRAVE HEART ARMY MARCHES ON PROUDLY HELPING THOSE IN NEED" He raise his hand pointing to the sky... Well ceiling "We're gonna be the best bodyguards you could ask for, our brave general of the golden hair is capable of fusing me and the black gear into a new stage of power by doing something known as DigiXros and when that happens TWO MINDS WORK IN ONE BODY READY TO TAKE DOWN EVERYTHING IN OUR PATH, Do not worry Solomon your human partner will be safe with us! The Mamemon proclaimed
"Indeed, we will be useful not just for fight but scouting ahead" "We promise not let down any of you!"
"The army has speaked, we are at your service Ayumi and I know it's going to be a pleasure to work with you guys too" Said Eleonora looking at Eris and Alan
Alan bowed in return, with his arms at his sides, while Levi took a more fanciful bow, with one arm in front of him, and one arm behind. "Nice to meet you, as well!" said the human. "Same here!" added Levi.
The pair's eyes seemed to glimmer with interest the more Ayumi spoke of the object of their mission. "Nineteen eight-six, huh? I knew we'd be exploring an 'uncharted' part of the city, but this is even MORE interesting!" exclaimed Alan, while his partner crossed his arms and chuckled. "I hope the graphics'll be good enough."
"Heh. I doubt that'll be an issue. Pretty sure the digital world looks just as detailed no matter the time period. But then again, I suppose we're about to find out. And don't worry, Ayumi. I thought it was a perfectly good explanation. Tells us a lot more than 'shard realm,' anyway." He punctuated this statement by grinning.
The young man and his digimon partner both took a step back in surprise when Kamina began to go on his passionate speech. They didn't have any audible response, but after they were sure he was done, they returned to their relaxed expressions, and Levi offered his response. "We're ready for this. I look forward to working with all of you, as well."
Babamon was just delivering the round of tea as Ayumi got the approval of everyone present. Seems that there was nothing stopping the expedition now, perfect! Ayumi smiled. "Ah, thank you all, thank you! Let's drink to a successful expedition!" She raised her tea cup, and then drank it in one go after everyone had put their cups together. Which scorched her tongue, but she tried to play it cool. Soon, they all set off. Ayumi took the lead as they wandered. Slowly, the derelict cityscape gave way to a more cavernous environment, as the scientist led them through many twists and turns. When it seemed like they had gotten lost, they found themselves in a large cave, with crystals growing from all surfaces. "Here we are! Now then, the anomaly should be around here somewhere..." She pulled out her laptop, opened it, and sat down, typing away furiously. Solomon wandered around the cave by himself, and noticed the slightly shimmering air just as Ayumi had located it. "Here it is! This is the anomaly! Now then, let's see if we can't make it visible..." More typing ensued...and suddenly, a door popped into existence. Just a normal, wooden door, which seemed to float in space. Ayumi hopped up, jumping up and down in sheer delight. "Yes, yes, yes, it worked! Folks! Behind that door, there will be a whole unexplored part of the Digital World! Are you all ready to be part of science history?"
Eris was on high alert as she trotted along with the group. Her little tail up like a battleflag, ears swiveling as she listened for any sound of danger and nose twitching while she scented the air. All and all in a bigger Digimon such a show of dedication would have been formidable, but in the tiny Gigimon's case it was mostly just unbearably cute.
"Woah~" Eris whispered under her breath as the group turned into the cavern her eyes lightning up as she inspected the glowing blue crystals closely. Even going so far as to prod a few.
"Can we take some home?" The little Gigimon questioned glancing towards Solomon and prodding a loose piece curiously eager to show off the pretty glowing rock to her Father and friend. When she became distracted by Ayumi's sudden exclamation. Head swiveling around in fear something might have slipped through her guard the Gigimon slowly relaxed when she realized Ayumi was safe and sound if only very very excited about the suddenly materializing wooden door.
The group follow Ayumi through the dark alleys of Old Terminus that slowly move and turn into a more cavernous path, something that always amaze Leo is how easy the digital world can twist itself to show different environments, how in one moment they were on a city and slowly was parting ways to open a path to a cave, once inside the Japanese girl guide the group of bodyguards from all kinds of rocky hallways that in all honesty Eleonora lost herself the second or third turn good thing was that at least Ayumi knew where they were going.
"We sure are somewhere" Eleonora chuckled when Ayumi proclaim "Here we are", she gotta admit that the place was interesting the crystals surrounding the rocks was a beautiful sight that she can agree with Eris, take one home would be really nice. "Good thing we have two pairs of drills at our disposal, maybe once the adventure finish Gurren and Lagann can mine some crystals for you Eris"
The group awaited patiently for Ayumi to stop her typing frienzy and tell them where the door to another realm was, of course what Eleonora did not expect was a literal door to pop up out of nowhere, remembering the weird shenanigans the forest pull on her that last adventure the German girl was more cautious than surprised, she took a step in front the group.
"Let us be the first one to go and make sure it's safe, one thing I learn from my last job as a bodyguard is to not act confident and be warn about your surroundings, I feel more relaxed if we give you the clear to move instead of all going and for some reason splitting and getting lost" She explain, it was obvious that the adventure on the Server woods protecting Layla and her Tsukaimon leave a mark on her, if this place was something like that she doesn't want that experience to repeat itself. "Of course if that's good with you Ayumi, I'm just being a little cautious"
"Trust us, we believe it is for the better outcome" "We are here to protect and scout as we said earlier"
"YES Let the heroes take the first step into the unknown"
The tamer and his draconic companion hummed in delight as they were led down the labyrinthine streets of Terminus. "I have a soft spot for confusing and inconsistent landscapes and architecture. I highly doubt anyone else here has heard of the City Museum, but that's one place in the human world I'm still curious about going to see. More like a gigantic potluck architecture playground than an ordinary museum. The idea of not even having a clue as to what could be around the corner-"
"Wait, rewind, did you just say you have a 'soft spot?' Last time I checked, you were pretty mushy, even for a human!" Levi snickered.
"Quiet, you," laughed Alan. "On second thought, keep talking, but say different things. I like hearing your voice."
"You better. You're gonna have to continue hearing it for a while."
The pair didn't mind how lost it seemed they were getting. They knew how confusing this city could get, but they trusted their guide, casually ooh-ing and aah-ing at the cavernous environment, and considering the crystals when it was suggested they could take some with them.
"Huh," said Levi, "ya think Archon would like these?"
"I don't see why not, assuming they're not enchanted, or... dangerous in any other way. If they're safe, and we pass back through here again, or find more later, we'll pick some up."
The Veemon and the human continued to chat and joke amongst themselves, stopping to listen to what Ayumi had to say whenever she spoke, and grinning at the appearance of the door, and proceeding to whisper to each other:
"Look, Levi, it's the door!"
"It has knowledge of all that was and ever will be!"
The door had appeared. They were mere inches away from science history! But Ayumi took the time to react to what everyone had said. "Oh, I definitely wanna take some crystals with me after we're done, too, Eris! Gurren and Langann will be most helpful in getting them for us! Eh? You wanna go first Eleonora? Aw man...alright, be careful though!" And so, the door opened, and the group entered!...
...exiting out of the door of a suburban home. The realm the group stepped into appeared to be the road of a small, Japanese city. The air was stagnant, old, and smelled faintly of ocean brine. Not a breeze disturbed it. There was no sound, safe for the distant swishing of waves. The sun shone down from the light blue, foggy sky, yet the air felt cool. While the objects all cast a shadow, the group themselves did not. Opposite to the home they exited from was a small kiosk, with not a soul standing at the counter. But on the newspaper stand was a newspaper, the Hokuriku Chunichi Shimbun, with the date reading 7th of June 1986. The street they were on stretched down a few hundred yards in either direction, with more houses crowning the ends of the street. Ayumi paused as she entered. "...I...certainly did not expect this."
"Ok! We'll pick some up on our way out then." The little Gigimon agreed as she shuffled after the others. Having to jump a little to clear the doorway on the heels of her companions. Only to freeze. The air smelled flat, unnatural, the scents hanging like the clothes of the dead left forgotten on a drying line with nothing, not even a breeze to disturb them. The place was empty, hollow, artificial in feel like the little towns inside snowglobes frozen forever outside of time.
It put Eris on edge. Her little ears going back flat against her head as she stalked towards the front of the group slinking along like a dog with their hackles up as she bared her teeth. A low growl like the snarl of a kitten echoing from her throat as her little blue eyes darted around searching for any sign of threat.
Deciding then and there that she really. truly. didn't like it here.
Ayumi seemed a little disappointed at not being the first one going in, but Leo was concern that something dangerous could be on the other side, better to prevent than lament, of course once they cross the door to the other side what the general and her army found a simple road of a small japanese city, not a single sound aside the gears spinning and some waves which could mean this city was near a beach or have a port, it was a little foggy and that kept the German girl and both gears on guard, the little Mamemon X didn't know how to react either, while he wasn't on the adventure that has his partners so agitated he knows something is wrong.
"Welp... This ain't what I expect... Yo! Coast is clear come in!" Kamina look back and wave his hand to the rest
"Yeah... Just stay alert anyways this place doesn't give me a good vibe" Commented the blonde "Sorry if you wanted to do the whole "A small step for a human but a big one for the humanity" thing Ayumi, I just... Bodyguard thing you know?" Explaining why she's so careful now would take a long time and better not distract the group and just keep exploring
Eris too seemed to have a bad feeling about the place, it was so quiet that it felt disturbing, the whole place was empty not even their shadows where projected, a newspaper read June 1986 and that was weird to say the least... Would it be possible for them to have just travel in time for just crossing a door? The more time Eleonora spends in the digital world the more questions about it she has...